Using a VLE to enhance ‘assessment for learning’ mathematics in school sector

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Nwabude, Aaron Aniagolu (2011)
  • Subject:
    acm: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION

This paper investigates the use of VLE in enhancing or supporting assessment for learning mathematics by\ud the KS4 students with special education needs in the London borough secondary school. The main\ud challenge in teaching and learning of mathematics is to provide the special education needs students with\ud extensive support structure that is associated with their subject area. As part of continuous teaching and\ud learning, many schools in the UK have embraced Assessment for learning as an effective and efficient way\ud of providing students, their teachers and their home schools with feedback and feed forward. A virtual\ud learning environment (VLE), which is an electronic system, provides online interaction of various kinds\ud that can take place between learners and tutors, including online learning and assessment [1]. A VLE as a\ud platform for teaching and learning supports assessment for learning (AfL), encourages personalised and\ud collaborative learning, enabling students to carry out peer and self assessment of mathematics course\ud within a unified supportive environment online. Evidence from literature suggests that VLE supports out of\ud school hours of learning, and that the special education needs learners who do not respond well to the\ud formal structure of learning within the school system take an active part in learning in informal settings.\ud The finding presents key issues related to mathematics teaching and assessment for learning using a VLE,\ud based on the perspectives of the special education needs (SENs) students in the school sector. The students\ud who received in-class feedback and feed-forward during mathematics lesson, and through the VLE\ud (Fronter) platform, moved their learning forward and much quicker when compared with students who\ud only received feedback in class. Correspondingly, the instant feedback provided by a VLE after the\ud Observation stage was greatly valued by the SENs students who used this period to take greater\ud responsibility for personal learning. In general, the finding suggests that a VLE effectively enhances\ud assessment for Learning by offering instant feedback and feed-forward to the SENs students who, now\ud began to take responsibility for their own learning, and have also been motivated to correct their work.\ud Furthermore, evidence of teacher – student interactivity which facilitates greater understanding of\ud mathematical concepts is highlighted by the study.
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